US Shippers face another round of re-evaluating their trucking strategy
For the first time in over a year spot rates in the US trucking market have dropped below the level of contract prices, according to transport management and logistics provider Transplace, acquired by Uber Freight last year. Traditionally 5% to 10% of the market is in spot rates, but in January some shippers sourced as much as 20% to 30% of their trucking volume on the spot market, said Ben Cubitt, Transplace’s SVP network services and consulting.
Some shippers have re-negotiated their contract rates with brokers. Few have gone to carriers directly to push for a flat rate reduction. For their part, carriers are showing flexibility, mindful that the market is softening and their strategic customers are facing increasing cost pressures. However, they are trying to hold the line, going for lower rate increases than they had originally targeted. “The market’s changing. It’s time to change your playbook. There are different levers to push,” he said, adding that shippers still had a lot of room for improvement in their networks.
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